Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Attention:  If you are my mother or my orthopedic surgeon, no wrists were harmed in the project described below.

When I had my cast removed, I had two instructions; "Take it easy, and no heavy lifting until your followup appointment in June."  I was worried this would cause a delay in finishing the desk; but after some serious thought, I came to the conclusion that my 65 year old Doctor's idea of taking it easy is probably pretty different than mine.  Plus, Deanne does Crossfit so she probably wouldn't mind helping me with the lifting part.

With my plans for the desk-base already complete (more on that here), I put together my shopping list.  For this project, I decided to use plywood for the shelves and the sides (I'll call this part the box).  As you can see in the plans, in order to cover up the plywood edges, I decided to build a face-frame that would sit flush against the plywood edges.

Once I figured out how much wood to buy, I ran to a local hardwood lumber store (Owl Hardwood Lumber in Lombard).   After browsing for a while, I decided to use White Birch Plywood for the box and some matching white birch hardwood for the face frame.  Although it was a little more expensive than buying the wood at one of the big box stores, the quality of wood and the service that I received was well worth paying a few dollars more.   Since a standard sheet of plywood doesn't exactly fit inside a Honda Accord, they even ripped the plywood for me into 14 inch wide strips so I could get the wood home.  This probably saved me an hour's worth of work and the cuts that they made were probably more accurate than mine would have been.   

Before I made any cuts, I let the wood sit for a few days in order to acclimate to the humidity of our house (always a good idea when buying wood).  I started by cutting the sides and shelves to length.  

Then I cut grooves (dados) for the shelves to rest in using a dado blade on the table saw.  

Once all the grooves were cut, I assembled the box using wood glue, clamps and some Kreg screws for extra support.  

The face frame got the same treatment (Wood glue, clamps and Kreg screws).  

Lastly, I attached the face frame using you guessed it...more glue, clamps and screws.  I strategically positioned the Kreg holes to be in places that would be least visible.  You can fill the Kreg holes with special plugs or wood filler but if they aren't going to be seen, it isn't really necessary.


We are still most likely a few weeks away from having a functional desk but we are definitely making progress.  Here's what's left on our checklist:
  • Attach the back of the bookshelf
  • Sanding
  • Staining / finishing to match the other half of the desk base
  • Get an old door for the desk top (and cut it to size)
I'll keep you posted on the progress!   

1 comment:

  1. can't wait to see the progress - what a cool idea!